Johannesburg, South Africa, is officially OpenDNS’s 25th datacenter. It’s a no-brainer to add South Africa to our roster, a country so rich in culture, biodiversity, and technological achievements. Along with being our 25th datacenter, it is also our second deployment in the southern hemisphere. Adding South Africa to our global anycast network further establishes our global presence and improves our customer experience. This allows us to route your DNS requests to the closest location automatically, anywhere at anytime.

Previous to having a South Africa datacenter, OpenDNS users in this region would connect north to a variety of European POPs. This new location shaves 200ms of latency, dramatically improving user experience. One way OpenDNS network engineers determine this increase in performance is with a tool called Ripe Atlas. This tool provides great insights when troubleshooting issues or viewing performance changes in all of our regions.

Using Ripe Atlas we confirmed the intended performance improvements for our users are not just isolated to South Africa. The entire southern African region has benefited. We saw the latency for OpenDNS users in South Africa improve from 180ms to just a few milliseconds. A typical user in Tanzania improved from 140ms to 50ms. And in countries like Kenya, a decrease in response time from 180ms to 56ms is a major improvement for the southern region of Africa.

OpenDNS Fly

JNB marks the fifth datacenter deployment of which I have had the privilege to be a part. Deployments are an orchestration within OpenDNS that involves several teams. Each of these teams has doubled, and in some places tripled in size since I joined the organization. Unlike typical fast growing companies, the growth hasn’t slowed our progress. The coordination between teams has been seamless, from procurement, rack, stack, and provisioning.

Wouter Vanwalleghem, our Systems Engineer in Belgium, was on site to receive the equipment and coordinate with the facility. While at the site, it is Wouter’s role to ensure all the equipment is functional, installed, cabled, powered, and connected to our management network. From there, members of the infrastructure engineering group work together from San Francisco and Vancouver to finish the provisioning and finalize all of the network services.

Our engineers use a wide variety of tools like Ansible, Puppet, NetHarbour, custom automation, and other provisioning support systems to automate as much of the build as possible. From start to finish, an entire site takes fewer than four days.

As we continue our accelerated pace of growth, OpenDNS will continue to grow its global presence. The incredible engineering teams of OpenDNS work tirelessly to ensure its users have the best experience possible. We process more than 70 Billion DNS Requests daily! That equates to more than 2 percent of the world’s Internet traffic! As the expansion continues, our global footprint marches on with it.

Waiting for us to come to your region? Check our Network Map for new locations!

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